Happy February! With Valentine’s Day approaching, what better way to celebrate the month of love than by loving ourselves first? Well, showing our teeth and gums the love and care they deserve is a perfect start (not to mention… a fresh and healthy smile is always a plus on a date with your honey)!
With that said, here’s a question to consider: What does brushing and flossing your teeth have to do with your heart Surprisingly, quite a bit! Research has shown an association between chronic gum disease (Periodontal disease) and heart disease. In addition to swelling, irritation, receding gums and potential tooth loss, chronic moderate to severe inflammation caused by bacteria below the gum line can be responsible for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, and attach to the blood vessels and heart. Specific bacteria present in gum disease have been found in blood vessels experiencing atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). Atherosclerosis is often the cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases, like stroke and high blood pressure.
Caring For Your Mouth Is Caring For Your Heart
Some heart conditions can be critically affected by periodontal (gum) disease. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis (heart infections) may require antibiotics prior to dental cleaning. Overall, the association between heart disease and gum disease reflects the link periodontal disease shares with other systemic conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory illness. Health experts agree that maintaining good oral health to prevent and control gum disease can be an important factor in keeping your heart healthy – which is another great reason to visit your dental hygienist for a gum exam and dental cleaning.
So, whether you’ve got a special date in mind for this Valentine’s day or are planning on just lounging at home watching flicks…always remember that your mouth can always use some extra love and attention first!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!